How Religion Affects Society by Olivia, CAFOD volunteer.

I am a Theology and Religion student from the University of Birmingham currently doing a 2-week volunteering placement with CAFOD.

I chose to do my placement with CAFOD due to the global work the charity does and my interest in how religion affects society.

During my time at CAFOD I have had many experiences. I have been involved in workshops, meetings, writing blog posts and articles, looking at the impact of social media and much more.

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Me in New York

Looking at the social media for different regions and the most popular tweets/facebook posts/ blog posts was really interesting. Social media has a huge impact in society today as we can see from many events. Therefore, by using social media to promote the charity and the campaigns and events within CAFOD is highly important. It is a great way to communicate with a wider audience and from looking at what posts were the most popular we can underline just how much religion affects society.

Taking part in the Catholic Social Teaching Workshop also demonstrated how religion affects society. Especially with the encyclicals. These are written by the Pope and tell what we should do in reaction to issues in society. For example, global warming which has serious effects on humans and the world, and so by listening to the Pope and changing our treatment of the world, we are able to see the effects of religion. A significant moment was the Second Vatican Council; this changed the attitude of the Catholic Church to being more inclusive and accepting of other religions; another example of religion affecting society.

As well as this, attending meetings for volunteers about what they can do to fundraise and help those who are less fortunate than them. I found the projects that CAFOD do such as Connect2, Powertobe and Livesimply to be highly impactful on society. These projects enable communities in the poorest countries to live their dreams.

The list is endless on how religion affects society and my time at CAFOD has deepened my knowledge and understanding of how religion does this.

St Clements Ewell vote to livesimply

We’re delighted to hear that the parish of St Clement’s in Ewell have overwhelmingly agreed to sign up for the livesimply parish award.

Jonathan Inns, CAFOD volunteer, has been drumming up interest in the initiative for a while and at a impressively attended launch meeting on Sunday the 22nd of May the decision was made to work towards being a livesimply parish.

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Jonathan Inns-piring the people of the parish

The livesimply award is an opportunity for Catholic communities – parishes, schools, religious orders and chaplaincies – to respond to Pope Francis’ invitation in Laudato Si’ to “work with generosity and tenderness in protecting this world which God has entrusted to us”.

St Clements Parish Ewell livesimply group with their banner made from recycled materials

St Clements Parish Ewell livesimply group with their banner made from recycled materials

What is the livesimply award?It is awarded to communities who can show how they have been living:

• simply
• in solidarity with people in poverty
• sustainably with creation.

Currently the diocese has one livesimply parish, St Mary of the Angels in Worthing, but several are on the journey to the award. Our parish volunteer, Rod Thick, who took his parish through the whole process is happy to visit to share his experience and support you through the process.

Our sincere thanks to Jonathan, the team and the parish for working towards a better world.

If you are interested in the award for your own community please do get in touch: or 01483 898 866.